I just don’t know where to begin!

This week, in my eternal search for interesting pants, I decided to venture into Topshop. I know the 80’s are supposed to be ‘in’ right now, but that was like stepping through a Tardis! Not only are the days of monster-pants, and Union-Flag boxers (like the guy from the first Fable game wears) gone forever, but Arcadia’s usually awesome underwear seems to have been replaced by sequined leotards, made from Laura Ashley’s 1985 fabric leftovers. And the items which did look remotely normal felt like running my hand over velvet, covered with lumpy custard-skin. Needless to say, I was reminded why fashion and I do not easily combine.

I did make one marvelous discovery though – or rather, rediscovery:

Marks and Spencers make the best lingerie in all the world, and they make it for real women. Whilst waiting for my friend to try on a bra with a large cup-size – an item which the vast majority of high street stores fail to stock – I came across a very cute, spotty twin set. The bra was available in every size I could imagine, and donated 10% of the profit made on sale to a breast cancer charity. It was only on reading the label that I discovered this item was intended for ‘post-mastectomy’ women. On the rare occasion I’ve seen this sort of bra before, they’ve been hideous things and were definitely never designed to make a woman feel normal, let alone sexy, after such a life-changing and figure-altering operation.

To a lesser extent, the same goes for women with larger breasts. I’m a 34D so am at the smaller end of the big-boob-scale, however, after two years in Denmark – amongst the stunning blond Valkyries – I know a little something about simply having to take the dire, slightly-yellowish off-white pair of woolen ear-muffs, simply because they happen to be the only thing that is large enough to offer any sort of support.

More companies should learn from M&S’s example – every woman deserves to feel fantastic in her underwear, regardless of her size.

N-, the friend I was shopping with on this particular occasion, also has the added (dis)advantage of being over six feet tall. She is one of the previously mentioned, stunning, Valkyrie women I met whilst in Denmark and has to come over to the UK to buy trousers long enough for her from the specialist store, Long Tall Sally.

I suppose, under all of this, what I’m trying to do is retract my previous statement – there ARE designers out there who cater for women-shaped women. There just aren’t enough.

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